Property is all the rage here in Bangkok. In the last fifteen years or so, the country has seen a major recession, the bird flu and a coup. And, after each, property prices haven risen. Is it too late to buy real estate in Thailand? While there may be some profits to be had, it will be a harder fought battle than in other Southeast Asian countries. Prices are about 60% higher than those in the Philippine, where foreigners are treated better.
However, people have made a lot of money in Thailand in recent years, the property market might still appeal to certain people.
Unlike Singapore and Hong Kong, the Thai government has not implemented a bunch of cooling measures to slow property growth. The Thai property market is relatively laissez-faire in that way, but there are plenty of restrictions on owning property in Thailand.
For one, foreigners can’t own land. Not through an American-owned Amity company or any other way. That leaves you with the option to purchase a condo, with the main geographic choices being Bangkok, Pattaya , Phuket, and a few other beach locales.
The judiciary also isn’t as strong in Thailand as it is in Hong Kong or Singapore. In those countries, you can be extremely confident that an independent court will uphold your property rights. Granted, Thailand is not exactly a banana republic, but the Index of Economic Freedom give property rights and investment freedom a failing grade.
Analysts claim Thailand’s recent property boom, which sent condo prices up an inflation-adjusted 6% in 2012, is a result of the country’s “robust economy”.